How Long Will You Live


Mr. Beat


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how long will you live call me morbid but I think about death all the time I imagine how I will go and sometimes I think about weird random stuff like if I were to die in a car crash what would be the last song I was listening to before the crash you may not think about that much but if you want to know how long you will live there are plenty of websites to help you out just like life insurance companies look at data to predict your life expectancy there are calculators and quizzes where you can enter your personal data to predict when your time runs out but there are other more general predictors number one generally if you are a woman you will live a longer life number two generally the richer you are the longer life you will live and number three generally the richer the country is you live in regardless of how rich you are personally the longer life you will live first of all why do guys not live as long as girls while there are many cultural explanations for example the stereotype that men only seek medical attention when forced to or under severe conditions a recent study actually said a genetic explanation is better after studying a group of men for many years researchers found that there was a correlation between a loss of the Y chromosome in proportion to white blood cells as well as a correlation between the loss of the Y chromosome and shorter survival regardless of the specific cause of death second the richer someone is the more likely he or she is going to live a longer life according to an analysis by the Brookings Institute a 55 year old American man and the richest 10% of the country can expect to live another 35 years but a 55 year old American man and the poorest 10% can only expect to live another 24 and with the widening gap between rich and poor in the country perhaps life expectancy won't go up as much as originally predicted finally and this is a big one what country you were born matters significantly sometimes I wake up in the morning and I think gee I sure am lucky that I was born of the United States of America mostly because I realized the odds of me living a longer life are much greater than they would be in other parts of the world the life expectancy in India is 65 years old the life expectancy in Somalia is 50 years old the life expectancy in Sierra Leone is forty seven point five years old I know that sounds young but just ten years ago the life expectancy there was 41 years old here in the United States the average life span went up to seventy eight point eight this year that's pretty darn good but not as good as Monaco where the average life span is eighty nine point seven so why is there such a gap why do people only live to forty seven in one country yet live to almost twice that age in another country first of all the lower life expectancies are misleading we typically see life expectancy statistics that are strongly shaped by infant mortality rates where and when life expectancy is low that generally means there are many who do not make it past their childhood however if they do make it past their childhood they almost live as old as they would in most other countries today the United States is a great example of this from 1900 to 1998 life expectancy from birth for Americans increased from 47 to 75 however in 1900 life expectancy for someone who made it to his or her 20th birthday was about 63 in 1900 150 out of 1000 babies did not live past their first year today just six out of 1000 babies do not live past their first year still it is pretty amazing how dramatically life expectancy has risen over the past 200 years from about 50,000 years ago up to the Industrial Revolution no matter what society lived in average lifespans rarely went above 35 where the Industrial Revolution first transformed societies as we're lifespans begin to increase and the unites states in 1850 the average lifespan was 39 in 1900 it was 47 point 3 in 1950 it was 68 point for again today it's nearing 80 and continues to increase no matter all the horrible things we do to seemingly try to kill ourselves Americans have doubled their lifespans in 164 years it's the same reason why the world's population keeps increasing and it's rooted in keeping children healthy better living standards especially more nutritious diets and access to clean drinking water has reduced infections and illness in addition the increase in immunizations against infectious and parasitic diseases like smallpox polio the measles and other major childhood killers has saved millions of lives life expectancy has increased not because more adults are reaching old age but because more children are living to the age of 20 the maps on the University of Oregon's mapping history website show the dramatic increase of life spans in US history however when you switch the map to show those alive at age 20 the average lifespan increase isn't nearly as dramatic the greatest positive to get out of all of this is that children now have a better chance to make it to adulthood than ever before are we all going to die likely yes but at least most of us get to live for a while before we do